LOVE – unlike anything I have ever before experienced
This is the story of our third child, and first homebirth baby, Kendra Jo. We were living in Lincoln, NE., and had not yet found an MD who would go along with our wishes in a hospital birth. The idea of having our baby at home had really not occurred to us until we saw an issue of The New Nativity. We knew immediately that this was for us.
I had called several offices, but no MD would even see me when I mentioned home birth. Realizing this, we made the decision to do without medical attention completely. We read – I read the “natural” books from the bookstore, and Milt read medical books from the library. During this time I became more in touch with my body, and the birthing process than I had with my first two pregnancies. I listened to what it was telling me, which it does, if you just learn to listen. For the first time, I understood what would happen, why, and how. It was an easy, uncomplicated pregnancy.
My periods were never particularly regular, but I thought I was due around the end of February. My nesting instincts were going full force as I scurried around that winter preparing for our new arrival. February came and went, March came, and I was growing rather impatient! That didn’t bother our little bundle one bit, and she decided to stay tucked away inside mommy for another 2 1/2 weeks!
Saturday the 18th came, and it was just a regular day for us, until about 6 PM, when I knew it was getting close to time.
With Michael and Kari, I knew hours before I went into actual labor, and this time was no different. There were no real contractions yet, so I didn’t say anything to Milt, but spent the rest of the evening knowing it wouldn’t be much longer. I bathed the kids and put them to bed, smiling – in the morning they would wake to a new little brother or sister.
Around 10 PM, I told Milt we would have a new baby by morning. We watched TV and talked for a while, then went upstairs to prepare for our new arrival. By then the contractions had started and were regular, but were no stronger than the Braxton-Hicks I had been having for the last 3 months. This went on until about 1:30, when the contractions started getting stronger. My water had not broken, but the doctor had broken it with both Michael and Kari, so I really didn’t know what to expect or when that would happen.
I walked around and went to the bathroom, but was getting uncomfortable and couldn’t find a good position to stand, sit or walk. Lying down seemed to take the least effort, so that’s what I did.
At 2 a.m., I had one huge contraction and my water broke. That seemed to relieve some of the pressure, but with the next contraction, I told Milt, “I quit, I give up!” I had decided I wasn’t going to have this baby!!! TRANSITION! With the next contraction I pushed – when I looked down, and there was a beautiful wet head of black hair. The baby rotated, and Milt commented with amazement that that was just what was supposed to happen!! He could see that the cord was looped loosely around the baby’s neck, so he slipped his little finger in the cord, and looped it back over the head. Another contraction, and our perfect little girl came slipping out into her daddy’s warm loving hands. Milt rubbed her gently, and with a spit and a sputter, our precious little Kendra Jo took her first breath. She cried, and we touched and rubbed her. She nursed a little and slept a little, and as I laid there with my brand new baby in my arms and Michael and Kari asleep in the next room, I knew my world was perfect.
After an hour Milt began to get concerned about the placenta, but there was no bleeding or sign of any problem, so we just waited. Thirty minutes later I told Milt I needed to push again, and the placenta delivered with no problem. I got up and showered, and Milt washed Kendra and put a diaper on her and we three settled in to try to get some sleep. I was awake again at 5:30 and could wait no longer to have Michael and Kari greet their new little sister. Milt went into their room and woke them, and told them mommy had a surprise for them in the bedroom. As they walked into the room and saw us laying there, the gleam in their eyes was unforgettable! Michael stood there for a minute just looking at us and then said matter-of-factly “Now there’s five of us!” Kari looked at us and immediately climbed into the bed to play with her new baby. The five of us laid there for a long time. The love felt in that room was so strong and so overwhelming it was amazing. The bonding, the sharing, the feeling of love – like nothing I have ever before experienced.